Letters to the Editor

Twisted thinking on Israel

The upcoming fall election is important to the voters of the Grand Strand for two reasons. First, it is important to get rid of the present occupier of the White House. Second, there is a new congressional seat open in our congressional district. In researching the stances of the candidates for this congressional seat on such important issues as our government, tax policy, military, and foreign policy, I found on Dick Withington’s website his statement that Israel “has provoked terrorism in the Middle East” because of their unfair treatment of Palestinians.

This statement is incredibly naive or deliberately misstating the facts. Mr. Withington further states, “Over a million Palestinians have been forced from their homes since 1940 by threats and attacks by Jews.” This is another twisting of the truth. When Israel was founded as an independent country in 1947, Arab leaders urged their people to leave, promising to cleanse the land of Israeli presence. Most of them fled without ever setting eyes on an Israeli soldier. Virtually the entire Jewish population of Muslim countries was forced to leave. In addition, in spite of the vast territories at their disposal, Arab refugees were deliberately prevented from assimilating into their host countries.

Mr. Withington and the mainstream media foster the myth that Palestinians want peace. The actual truth is that the Palestinians’ most vital goal is a return of refugees to their 1947 towns. Relocating millions of refugees and their descendants to pre-1947 Israel would, when combined with Israel’s existing Arab citizens, turn Israel into a second Palestinian-majority state, thereby eliminating the world’s only Jewish one. The leader of the Palestinian state cannot concede the “right of return” in negotiations when the majority of his people deem it as the “most vital Palestinian goal”; no leader anywhere could. Thus, as long as most Palestinians view the “right of return” as crucial, no peace agreement will be possible.

Public opinion isn’t immutable, but it obviously requires a strong effort to change. On the Israeli side, this effort has been made. Both Israeli and international leaders have told Israelis for two decades they must cede the territories for peace, and it worked: most Israelis are now willing to cede virtually all the West Bank ,whereas 20 years ago, this was a minority opinion. However, no similar effort has been made on the Palestinian side.

Ironically, the Israelis and Palestinians are brothers. Until they see that, there will be war.

Hamas will never relent; Israel will never allow their own destruction. If the world honestly wants peace in that region, convince them that they should have love for each other. Start with the children, win their minds. Put them together in schools and activities. Build a bridge. It will take many generations.

Simply put, you can’t blame Israel for defending itself against the latest attacks.

The writer lives in Pawleys Island.